Fowl Territory

I'm always looking for new images to paint on pottery. I clip them from newspapers, dissect National Geographic and Audobon magazines, buy strange books with titles like "A Report From the Brooklyn Zoological Society" at library book sales. This one, though, Denise found while going through boxes (and boxes and boxes) of clippings she saved in Wisconsin before we were married. "Look," she said, "A running rooster!"

Not just any running rooster either. It's a jungle fowl, the Southeast Asian ancestor of modern chickens. They have an amazing range of colors, a little like a red leghorn, only smaller and faster. How do I know faster? They used to have them at the Washington Park Zoo in Portland, zipping through your legs and running more or less wild among the exhibits. I always loved it when kids, surrounded by lions and tigers and bears, would shout "Look momma! A chicken!"

I don't know where they've all gone now. Coyotes got 'em, maybe, or feral cats, or someone decided chicken droppings on the sidewalks were too... fowl. But I still draw them on platters, bakers, pasta and serving bowls and running all the way around cookie jars, vases and teapots.

I agree with Shakespeare: "Fair is fowl and fowl is fair..."